The late Christopher Hogwood's collection included 26 beautiful historic keyboard instruments, all of which are to go under the auctioneer's hammer in Bath at the Gardiner Houlgate Auction Rooms on 12 March. We can't help loving the verbal idea of Gardiner auctioning off Hogwood's stuff, but are not sure whether they are indeed related to that Gardiner.
Brodmann grand piano, 1815
The collection features early instruments from harpsichords to fortepianos to dummy keyboards and an organ or two, and stretches all the way from 1650 to 1952. One of the star items is this Joseph Johann Brodmann fortepiano from Vienna of 1815 - prime Beethoven territory - thought to have belonged to Weber and once in the collection of the soprano Emmy Destinn. It is estimated at £22-28,000.
Hass clavichord, 1761
One of the priciest instruments is a clavichord by Johann Adolph Hass from Hamburg, 1761. On this instrument Hogwood recorded five albums including works by the Bach family, Handel and Mozart. Likely price is thought to be around £30-40000. There are also several clavichords made in the early 20th century by Arnold Dolmetsch.
"I thought I'd end up in the steelworks in Port Talbot for the rest of my life," says Sir Anthony Hopkins. Is he the most open and straightforward person I've ever interviewed? Certainly one of them. And it was rather touching to hear that familiar voice speaking to me from Los Angeles, and to realise that his own, natural accent remains distinctly Welsh. As you'll know by now, Classic FM is bringing out an album of music by Hopkins. Today my interview with him about it is in The Independent. Read it here.
That should hopefully entertain you over your coffee. And here's a bonus: a "new" Brahms piano piece has turned up in America and is to have its world premiere on BBC Radio 3 on Music Matters, 21 January, played by Andras Schiff. Christopher Hogwood apparently stumbled upon the work which looking through a collection of manuscripts in the US that had once belonged to the director of music at Göttingen University. The piece, a complete Albumblatt about two minutes long, was written in 1853 when our Johannes was all of 20 - the year he met Schumann and Clara for the first time. Perhaps it would have been amongst the pieces he performed to them on that first visit in Dusseldorf. It is apparently an early version of what became the trio section of the scherzo in Brahms's Horn Trio. The Guardian has more on this, here.